Economic news Irak

Ministry of Electricity signs a contract with the German company “Siemens

Ministry of Electricity announced on Wednesday signing a contract with the German company “Siemens”, that includes processing equipment, civil works and implementation of four important transmission 132 kV stations in the capital, Baghdad.

The Director-General of the Directorate for projects of power transmission, , Sabah Kadhim Akrb said in a statement received by Shafaq News, that the contract includes processing equipment, execution of civil works for the four stations, which are already present to the service, and will be rehabilitated under this contract as well as the establishment of new stations alternative to the old plants, which are Kadhimiya, Al-Ghazali, Baghdad al-Jadida and al- Yarmouk.

For his part, Deputy Director of transmission stations Projects in the Directorate General of electric power , Rashid Ali Jawad said that stations (132 kV) of type (J.A. M) gas-insulated, adding that the contract includes all processing equipment and civil works for ( 485) days, starting from the activation of the contract, the day of opening credit.

He added that the project is vital, because it will contribute to solve problems in Karkh and Rusafa side effectively.


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Construction news Zambia



Zambia: Masaiti District Hospital Almost Ready


THE second phase of the construction of Masaiti District hospital on the Copperbelt at a cost of more than K22 million, has been completed.

Provincial medical officer Consity Mwale said in an interview that the people in Masaiti would soon have a district hospital that would enable them access quality health care services.

The works which were carried out under phase two of the project, included the building of wards, maternity wing and the administration block.

Dr Mwale said construction under the third and last phase had also started and the project, which started in 2010, would be completed next year.

“We have done the wards and the maternity wing, but we are remaining with the administration block and a few things like fencing and electrifying the institution,” he said.

Dr Mwale said funds for the final phase had already been released and the contractor, Meltcast Engineering Limited was already on site.The project is important for people in the area as they would be assured of accessing quality cost effective health care services which would be as close to the family as possible.

Apart from the district hospital being constructed, there are also construction works of health posts in Masaiti which are part of the 650 health posts that the Government is building across the country.

“As you know Government is constructing 650 health posts countrywide.

Masaiti District has not been left out because nine health posts are being constructed,” he said.

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Australie’n construction news

Australia has some of the world’s most expensive construction markets, although the tide is starting to turn, an international report has found.


New York is the most expensive place to undertake construction activities, according to an analysis of residential and commercial projects in 35 markets around the world.  The report by multinational professional services company Turner & Townsend also ranked Sydney at 10th, Perth at 16th, Melbourne at 19th and Brisbane at 20th place.

Senior economist Gary Emmett said Australia is becoming a relatively cheaper place to build, due to low interest rates and a falling Australian dollar.

“The 2015 report shows that compared to 2011, it would cost overseas investors paying in US dollars 13 per cent less to construct buildings in Australia, which is a significant reduction,” he said.

Mr Emmett said that with the exception of Sydney’s apartment market, the cost of construction is stable and the outlook moderate for the medium term.

“Overall, it is a great time to build. Construction costs should remain fairly stable although some residential construction trades may become increasingly difficult to source, adding pressure to costs,” he said.

“Foreign investors are expected to seek more opportunities here to capitalise on the favourable conditions to build projects.”

Meanwhile, the Turner & Townsend report found that the cost of building a detached house is $1,600 per square metre in Melbourne, $1,650 in Brisbane and Perth, and $1,750 in Sydney.

Building a prestige detached house costs $2,700 per square metre in Melbourne, $2,850 in Sydney, and $3,000 in Brisbane and Perth.  Townhouses cost $1,700 per square metre in Brisbane, $1,750 in Melbourne, $1,850 in Perth and $1,900 in Sydney.

Construction costs for low-rise apartments are $1,800 per square metre in Brisbane, $1,900 in Perth, $1,960 in Melbourne and $2,100 in Sydney.  High-rise apartments cost $2,500 per square metre in Brisbane, $2,700 in Melbourne and Sydney, and $2,900 in Perth.

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African growth plan Zimbabwe

PPC cements African growth plan with new Zimbabwe plant


PPC is spending $200m on expanding its production facilities in Zimbabwe by 2020 as the nation’s cement market evolves from mostly cash-in-hand sales for home building and renovation to renewed maintenance spending on national infrastructure…


SA’s largest cement group will add new Harare milling facilities to milling and clinker assets in Bulawayo and Gwanda, bringing total capacity in the country to about 1.2-million tonnes annually.

The new Harare plant will cost about $86m. It should be up and running in the middle of next year. The group is making the investment despite using only about 70% of overall capacity at its existing PPC Zimbabwe operations. These produce about 700,000 tonnes of cement per annum.

But that is now changing, according to PPC Zimbabwe MD Njombo Lekula, who spoke at a Zimbabwe investment event in Johannesburg on Friday. He said since the “dollarisation” of Zimbabwe’s economy in 2009 after years of hyper-inflation, the cement maker had seen a positive trajectory.

There was a renewed focus by government to revamp the nation’s infrastructure, Lekula said. This included adding generating capacity to Kariba Dam’s hydroelectricity output. PPC Zimbabwe supplies cement to the project.

“What is opening up now is private (sector) participation”¦ in power generation. Government has come to the realisation that the only way to progress is through foreign direct investment – and to become investor friendly.”

Lekula said a new generation of ministers had spent years in the private sector before joining the government. This included Minister of Commerce and Industry Michael Bimha, who also spoke at Friday’s investment indaba. Bimha had spent 20 years with Anglo American and served on numerous company and parastatal boards in that country.

PPC’s expenditure in Zimbabwe is part of a rapid ramp-up in African investment outside of SA. While the company has a “keep the home fires burning” policy to support its main South African operations, it is seeking 40% of revenue from the rest of the continent by 2017. That means that gross debt of R6.8bn is soon set to rise to between R10bn and R12bn. To this end, the group has ring-fenced debt for its African investments, including the new mill in Zimbabwe, a new 600,000 tonnes-a-year plant in Rwanda, a 1-million tonnes-a-year cement factory being built in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as the 51%-owned, $135m cement plant in Ethiopia that will make 1.4-million tonnes of cement a year.

That is a lot to deliver on in the next few years, especially as the group’s South African operations are suffering from the long-term stagnation of the country’s building and construction markets.

Jason Muscat, senior industry analyst at FNB, says in the most recent First National Bank Bureau for Economic Research civil construction confidence index that despite a small rise in confidence, the state of the industry seems “to have worsened in the second quarter”. He says the outlook is “quite bleak”.

This means tendering competition had intensified. “In fact, according to respondents, tendering price competition is at its worst level since the end of 2011,” Muscat says.

This comes as competition in regional cement markets has become even tougher with the entry of Nigerian-backed Sephaku Cement and Chinese-backed Mamba Cement.

New industry capacity will take total cement production in SA to nearly 20-million tonnes a year. South African cement sales came to 12.2-million tonnes last year. This means oversupply of product will likely keep margins tight in future.

A 38% plunge in PPC’s headline earnings per share in the six months to March reflects the difficulties faced by SA’s construction sector, says Imara SP Reid analyst Sibonginkosi Nyanga. Since September last year, PPC’s stock has dropped more than 45%.

But PPC and other major cement producers in SA – Lafarge, Afrisam and Natal Portland Cement – have found temporary relief after the International Trade Administration Commission of SA recently imposed provisional anti-dumping duties on imports of Portland cement up to November 13, following an investigation into dumping of cement from Pakistan.

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Nigeria’n economy

Nigeria: What Buhari Must Do to Move Economy Forward (2)

To ensure that Nigeria’s growth can be wide, inclusive and sustained, the incoming Muhammadu Buhari administration must focus on building infrastructure, institutions and people. Nigeria has big infrastructure gaps, which represented huge costs to businesses and to people. Over the past three decades, per capita output of electricity in Nigeria remained virtually flat. Only 16 per cent of all roads are paved, compared with 58 per cent in South Asia. The investment needs to address this is in the region of billions of dollars.

Good enough, Buhari realises that Nigeria needs to improve governance, transparency and create sound economic frameworks for growth which is building institutions. Building institutions rather than individual office holders by the government, would ensure that revenues and benefits from mineral resources could be better captured for national budgets and generating more jobs. Nigeria needs to build people to reap the dividends of its rapid population growth. An increase by even one percentage point in the working age population could boost GDP growth by half a percentage point. For this to happen, however, good jobs need to be created in the private sector.

Today, only one in five people in Nigeria finds work in the formal sector. This must change. With wider access to quality education, healthcare and infrastructure services, Nigeria can change all of that.

Buhari does not need a magic wand to achieve this. In the nation’s archive are volumes of development plans that long charted a path towards these lofty economic goals or ideals.

The nation’s set objectives in the third National development plan are what Nigerians are clamouring for today.

The plan had envisaged increase in real income of the average Nigerian; even distribution of income among individuals and social economic groups in the country; reduction in the level of unemployment; increase in the supply of high level manpower; reduction of the dependence of the economy on a narrow range of activities; balanced development – the achievement of better balance in the development of the different sectors of the economy and various geographical areas of the country; increased participation by Nigerians in the ownership and management of the productive enterprises; greater self-reliance, that is increased dependence on internal resources in seeking to achieve the various objectives of society.

What is required of the Buhari administration is increased efforts to achieve optimum utilisation of Nigeria’s human and material resources; development of technology; reduction in rural-urban migration; the promotion of a new national orientation conducive to greater discipline, better attitude to work and cleaner environment.

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Rwanda – railway line

Rwanda – Railway Line to Cost Over U.S. $3 Billion


Rwanda – Works on the anticipated Isaka Kigali railway line will cost between $3 and 4 billion , the Minister of Infrastructure has said

The minister explained that the existing railway line in Tanzania will first be upgraded before being extended to Mosonga region in Burundi, and later to Kigali. Karega said that appropriate types of trains to be used on the planned railway line have already been identified, adding that efforts are underway to attract more funding from several other multinational banks, such as OPEC Bank.


A final resource mobilization roundtable is scheduled next month in Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania, he added. “In order to facilitate the process, we are recruiting some transaction and auditing companies of international calibre that will be transacting and engaging with all the stakeholders,” Karega added.


The minister also noted that China has shown interest in financing the project, and that the US government, through USAID, also supported one of the preparatory activities.


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Building on Kenya’s real estate sector growth



During the country’s rebasing – replacing of the old base year used for compiling the constant price estimates to a new and more recent base year – Kenya’s GDP increased to 55.2 billion US dollars in 2013 from 44.1 billion US dollars, a 25.3 per cent jump. The real estate sector contributed 5.9 per cent accounting for some change in the level of the country’s GDP.

The country’s booming property market is said to be responding to demand that has been created by the expanding middle class.

Recently, players in the industry held the 20th Kenya Homes Expo in Nairobi. The expo garnered local and international exhibitors drawn from various sectors of the real estate industry.

According to Daniel Ojijo, executive chairman at Homes Universal, one of the best places to network and consult with players in the industry

Kenya’s real estate sector continues to attract huge investments


“Kenya homes expo has grown into a formidable force the forum has not only provided an avenue for industry professionals and investors to network and expand the knowledge but have been a great boost for the industry initially helping to demystify the sector from an illicit activity to one where even a village investment group can invest the challenge of providing housing,” Ojijo said.

Over the years, the Expo has grown tenfold from 40 exhibitors during its inception in 2005.

“Kenya Homes Expo has close to 200 exhibitors displaying their products and this participation is from more than 20 exhibitor categories. Presently over 50,000 exhibitors go through the exhibition stand during the 4 days of this event.”

Currently, the total number of mortgage accounts in Kenya stands at 20,000 which is significantly below the demand for housing units of more than 200,000 per year and growing. There is therefore an urgent need to increase the supply of new and affordable housing units.

In this regard, Ibrahim Hussein, director of administration at the Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development says the Kenyan government is committed to working with all the sector players, towards addressing the issue of affordable housing.

“We urge the financial institutions in this country to work with the government towards enhancing access to affordable housing finance through the following interventions: Lowering the mortgage rates, lengthening the mortgage repayment periods by embracing multi-generational mortgages and restructuring mortgage repayment mode in order to accommodate the informal sector.”

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